It is no secret that traditional publishers are leaving more and more of the publicity for a book to the author. If you go with self-published or print on demand books, all of the publicity burden falls on your shoulders. Trying to publicize a book while writing your next one can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way.
With just a little initial effort, every post on your blog can travel to multiple places where your readers congregate, leaving you more time to write. The secret to this is to harness your RSS feed to syndicate your blog. RSS stands for different things depending on who you ask, but I remember it as Really Simple Syndication.
That orange button with the white wavy lines on it you see on most blogs is the RSS feed. You click it and are able to sign up to receive the blog posts in a reader, or by email, or both, depending on the way it is configured. You can essentially “sign-up” several places to receive and display your blog posts so they reach more people than your blog alone will.
The top five sites for authors to interact with fans seem, from requests for help I receive, to be the author pages on GoodReads.com and Amazon.com, the Kindle blog publishing program, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you have a book with an ISBN number on the cover (usually the back cover), you are eligible to request an author page from GoodReads.com. The people there are avid readers who are looking for new books to read. They enjoy interacting with their favorite authors and reading excerpts, blog posts, and other things posted there by them. You can also give away copies of your book through GoodReads.com and most of the time, the winners will post a review when they are finished reading the book.
Amazon.com also allows authors who have a book that is available through them to have an author’s page. The advantage of this is that most people are looking to buy something to read when they encounter your page. The content you leave there can further prime them to buy your book.
Many people have put their backlist on Kindle and other eReaders. It is also possible to put your blog onto Kindle. Readers pay a nominal subscription fee each month to get every post as you write it. Since they are using their Kindle to read your words, they may become interested enough to purchase your eBooks as well.
Establishing a fan page on Facebook has become more important than ever as studies show many young adults and twenty somethings use it to the exclusion of other sites. It can, however, seem like a huge time sink to some of us. You can feed your blog postings onto the wall of your fan page and interact with your fans over the comments to what you have written. Having the blog feed there also keeps your page from looking abandoned.
Finally, Twitter is used to communicate and market by an ever increasing crowd. In 140 characters or less, you can put out the title and a teaser for each blog post to draw people to your website. There, they can read the entire post and hopefully be exposed to your entire catalog of books.
To feed your blog to Facebook and Twitter, it is easiest to use a program such as Twitterfeed.com. This automatically picks up the information and posts it for you. You can have it check as often as every 30 minutes for new posts and transfer them where you direct.
Technology has made the author’s job at once easier and harder. Use your RSS feed to expand your platform while leaving you time to write.